Please select your home edition
Edition
Ocean Safety 2021 - LEADERBOARD

UN Secretary General declares 'Ocean Emergency'

by Daria Blackwell 9 Jul 09:18 UTC
Storm clouds on the horizon. Missed that one © Daria Blackwell

Ahead of the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, António Guterres said the world must turn the tide of rising sea levels, ocean heating, acidification and plastics pollution.

"We cannot have a healthy planet without a healthy ocean," United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres underscored at the start of the 2022 United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and Sustainably Use the Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources for Sustainable Development. In his opening comments, Mr Guterres urged world leaders and all stakeholders to invest in sustainable ocean economies for food, renewable energy and livelihoods.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, noting his special affinity for the oceans which he shares with his fellow Portuguese nationals (he is from Lisbon), cited the poet Fernando Pessoa, who wrote: "God wanted the land to be one. What the sea unites, no longer tear asunder." Describing the many aspects of the 'ocean emergency' that the international community is confronting, he noted that while global heating is pushing ocean temperatures to record levels, creating fiercer and more frequent storms, sea levels are rising, and low-lying island nations and major coastal cities face inundation. Coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves, seagrasses and wetlands, are being degraded, while pollution from land is creating vast coastal dead zones. Noting that plastic waste is now found in the most remote regions and deepest ocean trenches, he cautioned that without drastic action, plastic could outweigh all the fish in the oceans by 2050. One mass of plastic in the Pacific is bigger than France, he pointed out.

Recalling the last Ocean Conference five years ago and its call for action to reverse the decline in ocean health, he pointed out the community efforts and international partnerships that have been working to create marine protected areas for the recovery of fisheries and biodiversity. Also noting significant progress on a legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, Mr Guterres highlighted the new treaty being negotiated to address the global plastics crisis as well as the recently concluded World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement on ending harmful fishery subsidies.

"But let's have no illusions," he cautioned. Pointing out that Sustainable Development Goal 14 receives the least funding of any of the Goals, he stressed that sustainable business models are vital for ocean economies to operate in harmony with the marine environment. The ocean must become a model on how to manage the global commons, he said, underscoring the need to scale up effective area-based conservation measures and integrated coastal zone management. He made an urgent call to all stakeholders to invest in sustainable ocean economies for food, renewable energy and livelihoods.

This article has been provided by the courtesy of Ocean Cruising Club.

Related Articles

Europe moves to protect Atlantic deep-sea sites
Prohibiting bottom fishing across 16,000 square kilometres On Sept. 15, the European Commission made a historic announcement: it will prohibit bottom fishing across 16,000 square kilometres or 6,200 square miles in territorial waters of the NE Atlantic. Posted on 27 Sep
The Sailor - A film you won't want to miss!
Documentary about 80-year-old who valued his freedom so much that he has never truly lived on land The Sailor is a documentary about an 80-year-old who valued his freedom so much that he has never truly lived on land. This English sailor sacrificed everything so that he could live only at sea. Posted on 25 Sep
WaterBear - A free new streaming service
Watch award-winning films and documentaries anytime, anywhere WaterBear, the first interactive streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet. Watch award-winning films and documentaries anytime, anywhere. Posted on 25 Sep
Pressing On
Or, how we temporarily swopped two hulls for two wheels OCC Roving Rear Commodore Stuart Letton tells us about Time Bandit's change of routine over the years of cruising, from moving on with the seasons to stopping to really experience the places you land. Posted on 22 Sep
OCC Report from RoRC in the East Mediterranean
Doing a bit of catching up with voyaging post lockdown It seems as if I have been doing a bit of catching up with voyaging post lockdown as this year I have already had three separate cruises so my title of Roving Rear Commodore is apt. Posted on 21 Sep
OCC RoRC report from the Iberian Peninsula
Starting in Portimao after 3 months of Brexit-enforced leave in Ireland >We started the season in Portimao after 3 months of Brexit-enforced leave in Ireland. Thankfully since then, I've been made an Irish citizen and with that comes an unlimited time in the Schengen zone. Posted on 20 Sep
Boat dismantling and disposal at the end of life
Boats made of plastic (GRP/FRP) do not break down over time Boats made of plastic (GRP/FRP) do not break down over time. With the increase in recreational boating, the problem of what to do with them when they get too old to maintain is an issue worldwide. Posted on 30 Aug
Scientists appeal for reports of orca interactions
The number of incidents reported had reached 200 The Cruising Association has teamed up with Orca Iberica to collect information about interactions between boats and orcas, as well as about passages without encounters. Posted on 3 Aug
Case Study: The Windward Islands, Caribbean Sea
How changes in nature are interrelated with the manifestations of climate change The team discusses how changes in nature are interrelated with the manifestations of climate change and argue that tackling greenhouse gas emissions is not enough. Posted on 30 Jul
Climate change… have we got it all wrong?
Howard Dryden reports the preliminary results of an ocean survey of plankton and plastics OCC Member Dr Howard Dryden reports the preliminary results of an ocean survey of plankton and plastics conducted by the crews of yachts crossing the Atlantic, including those of OCC members. Posted on 30 Jul
Selden 2020 - FOOTERHyde Sails 2022 One Design FOOTERCrewsaver 2021 Safetyline FOOTER